Pregnancy is a rollercoaster of an adventure. Everyone knows about the physical changes that you go through during the course of a pregnancy, but the scariest changes are the emotional one. Before you get pregnant, you’re often carefree. You own the world and you’re selfish with it – and rightly so when the only person that you have to please is yourself. When you get pregnant, you have to start thinking of more than just you; there’s a little life depending on you to be healthy, present and feeling happy. The physical changes can affect your mental health. The life changes and responsibility can also affect your mental health. You have to understand how a pregnancy can alter your thinking, and then you have to surround yourself with people to keep you feeling supported and happy during that pregnancy.
It takes a village to raise a child, which means that all those in your circle will be looking out for your baby as they grow. Where you have to consider is who looks after you while you grow the baby? If you’re going it alone, you’re not alone if you have family and friends who are dropping in on you and inviting you out of the house and you have a job to keep you busy. If you have a partner, they need to know that their support of you is absolutely paramount. Half the posts on Parenting Pod can tell you about conditions such as postpartum depression, but there is also such as thing as prenatal depression, and it’s less spoken about. Being pregnant, you’re expected to glow and shine and smile. The reality is that pregnancy can be difficult for a person. Your body is undergoing a constant rush of hormones and the changes that are happening can make you sick, tired, scared, happy and sad all at once. These feelings are difficult to cope with, and it’s not something to be ashamed of in the slightest. You should be brave and make sure that you are asking for help when you need it, not shying away from looking ‘weak’. It’s incredibly strong to admit that you need some help.
The one support that you should always ensure that you have is the support from your partner, if you have one. Your relationship, despite your best efforts, will change with the arrival of a new baby. The way that you view each other will change, and it can sometimes be for the worst. Partners who are unsupportive are often resented, so it’s important that your partner steps up and comes with you to as many medical appointments and scans as possible. They should also, ideally, be there for the birth to be able to bond with the baby alongside you. They are your emotional support and if you feel you are not being supported properly, you need to say so and direct them to what you need. Life with a baby is hard, don’t make it harder on yourself.